Conversation with Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth: Who Gets What — And Why

Working Capital Conversation: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

Wouldn’t life be easier if only getting into college were determined solely by price – who could pay most? Or marriage – love to the highest bidder? Or a new kidney – How much you got to survive?

9780544291133_hresThe ideas seem laughable. Yet we live in an era that celebrates free markets and seems to celebrate the role of pricing in markets. But thanks to a range of factors – some old, like tradition; some new, like smart phones – new markets are popping up everywhere. And they’re not always developed by the traditional free market rules or price dynamics.

So how do and should these new markets work?

That’s what the Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences Alvin Roth set out to define. He explored the dynamics – rules, processes, expectations and more – of matching markets. Roth is Professor of Economics at Stanford, and one of the world’s leading experts in market design and game theory. His newest book describes that market design. It’s called “Who Gets What – and Why.”


Conversation with Susie Orman Schnall on Work/Life Balance: The Balance Project

ZP0PO6mz-2Working Capital Conversation: Leading thinkers, practitioners and experts discuss the ideas that drive global business.

The challenge of work/life balance continues confound. Employees insist they want it. Many companies – through flex schedules, job shares, training and more – try to offer it. And yet, so many of us – men and women – feel like we’re just not doing it right.

To make it worse, we then combine that frustration with the ideal that we can – or at least should – have it all. We think we see the alleged examples parading in front of us every day – the so-called superstars who hold down high-powered jobs, work out constantly, volunteer incessantly, love their spouses and kids, and surely in their free time, compose music like Mozart, paint like Monet and cook like Julia Child. You know who they are. We come to believe that to reach that next level – perhaps even to have it all – we only need to lean in a bit harder.

516F5+G14JL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_So why doesn’t it happen? Why aren’t we all walking around feeling like we have it all?

Award-winning writer Susie Orman Schnall wanted to find out. So she did the obvious thing: She asked. In a series of interviews with powerful, accomplished, seemingly have-it-all women, she asked their secrets to having it all. And the answers – what these women acknowledged – just might surprise you.

The interview series is called, quite appropriately, The Balance Project, which you can find at And now it’s transformed as well into Schnall’s second novel, an engaging, funny and often uncomfortably accurate read called “The Balance Project: A Novel.”